Book Review: The Ten-Cent Plague

The Ten-Cent Plague
8.8 of 10
Author: David Hajdu

After reading Vertigo titles like Scalped and Transmetropolitan, I've wondered why there aren't more of the regular guys, like Dashiel Bad Horse or Spider Jerusalem, in comics. But after reading The Ten-Cent Plague, a book about the history and controversy of comics and the animosity towards it, which lead to its regulation and censorship in the 50's, I now know why comics are being dominated by mask-donning, costume-wearing super heroes these days. I really recommend this book to avid comic readers, or to anyone who reprove the censorship of any arts.


Tax Back!

I just got my Tax Back check from the State of Illinois. It's not much (only $60) but at least I don't have to pay them. Now, I need to spend it on something. Maybe I should get something for my Mom for Mother's Day, or something very useless for myself like an action figure of the Black Canary or the Huntress for example.


Comic Collecting

I always wanted to collect comics during my early teen years. But it was just hard to do so in the Philippines, especially in Iloilo, where you just miss at lot of issues. The main reason of this was comic stores in Manila just don't have enough copies (especially X-Men and other popular comics) to send to Iloilo. If they do have copies, it's either a leftover or a bad issue. So that why I didn't collect any, there was just no point.

Now, however, while reading The Ten-Cent Plague, I regained my interest in comic collecting. I still read comics but mostly I've been buying the paperback collections. While the paperback collections are much more cheaper and easier to maintain, its value just don't go up. So, just out of the blue, I subscribed to Uncanny X-Men and Astonishing X-Men series. I also plan to pick up every Marvel Universe events starting with the current, which is Secret Invasion.


Brutal Postage Stamps

Toni, a talented patient transporter in my hospital, gave me his ad card with an address to his web gallery. I visited the site (which can be found here) that night and found a bunch of merchandises with his designs on it. Coffee mugs, stickers, bumper posters, you name it. Heck, they even have aprons. But what I really liked were the postage stamps. I've never seen postage stamps with some sort of urban/modern art before, and his designs were just perfect for it. So, in order to show my support, I purchased a sheet.


Album Review: Alopecia

Why? - Alopecia
8.5 of 10

So I bought Alopecia, the latest album of the band Why?, a couple weeks ago. I listened to it, liked it, and wanted to write a review of it. Unfortunately, writing a review proved to be difficult because I can't clearly describe their sound. To start it off Why? sounds like an indie folk band, much in the veins of The Nationals, except that they had gone awry and they rap. Yes, an indie-folk band that raps. It may sound weird but the music is undeniably cool. Odd drumbeats and even oddly plucked acoustic riffs that makes you want to sit outside the porch, on a hammock, while you take in to the breeze. On top of that, both of Yoni Wolf's lyrics and performance puts a lot of imagery in your head like a mind movie -some are good but some are convoluted. So far, Alopecia is one of the best album I've heard this year. I highly recommend it.


Champions Online

I took a wrong turn when I was visiting RPG Watch and accidentally clicked the link of their sister site, MMO Watch. That's when I found out that, Champions, a HERO table-top RPG is being developed into an online game. While I haven't played any HERO games, my comic geek nephew was playing one with his friends a couple years ago. It was a pretty cool game. I was also thinking of trying City of Heroes/Villains to see if it's any better than World of Warcraft. But after getting this news, maybe I'll just have to wait until next year.


Chemistry Trading Card Game

I love trading card games but I hate chemistry. I used to waste all of my time and money just to keep my deck of Magic: The Gathering cards in shape. I do remember also that I failed chemistry in high school and got a C -which is my lowest grade- in college. Now, here comes a 14-year old boy, Anshul Samar, who invents Elementeo, a trading card game based on real chemistry. Here's a little snippet about the game:

"Elementeo is a strategic battle game where you use your elements across the battlefield in reducing opponent’s electrons to zero. You do that by harnessing the strength and moving properties of the elements and compounds, and by using their reactionary powers. For example, Oxygen can rust any neighboring metal or Copper Conductor can shock any metals and send them back to the deck."
It looks and sounds a lot of fun, huh? If there's anyway for me (or many others) to learn chemistry, then Elementeo is probably the most effective way.


King Nothing: Black Leather Throne

Playing games in long hours can be very arduous. Your neck, shoulder, and back will always be sore by the time you call it quits. So every time I'm addicted to a game, I always wish I had a comfortable chair with head and arm rests. Now, I finally got one. It looks very sleek and it's very comfy. It didn't come cheap though, even if it was on sale. But the money I paid was worth it because this will make my gaming life pain free.


Sunday's Best Dress

I've been playing World of Warcraft for a month now, and I know quite a bit about the game already. But I'm still a greenhorn though...a newbie, or a n00b if you want. Nonetheless, I've learned, as a Paladin specialized in Protection, that I need to carry robes, with bonuses to Spirit and Intellect, during instances because I may, yet again, act as a Priest.

So far, of all three dungeons that I did (The Deadmines, Stormwind Stockades, and Gnomeregan) I acted as the healer. If not for some gallons of milk and melon juice, we would've done poorly in all those dungeons because I wasn't specialized or geared for healing. I did fine, however. In fact, I quite enjoy healing and might re-specialize into a Holy Paladin later on in the game.

Hydrocane Loot

Anyways, the last instance, Gnomeregan, was fun. There were only four of us. One is a Warlock who think he's a fighter. So I have to heal him regularly because he was fighting at the front, generating threat with his area of effect fire spells, and getting all the aggro. I think he was trying to prove his usefulness to us. It's just that he didn't realize his true usefulness. I wanted to tell him what he needs to do but I'm not like that. I let people be with their playing styles. Still turned out to be a cool run, I didn't get any nice items for myself but I got a Hydrocane Staff (see screenshot above). It'd be nice if can use it because it'll let me hunt murlocs underwater.


Lollapalooza 2008: Lineup Announced

I was watching the news today (Chicago Tonight) and they announced the lineup for this year's Lollapalooza. I think this year is going to be as tight as years before, which is good. The festival will be headlined by Radiohead, Rage Against The Machine, Nine Inch Nails, Wilco, The Raconteurs, and Kanye West. While the latter three artist aren't bad, it was the first three bands that had me. But the main reason that made me want to go is because Battles, The National, Bloc Party, and Explosions in the Sky will be there. I love those bands. Unfortunately, the ticket costs $200 and it's a three-day event. So, hopefully, I'll have money and a time-off from work by July because I haven't been to a concert since 2004.


April "To-Do" List

Here's my "To-Do" list for this month:

  • Write at least one music review.
  • Learn how to play a song.
  • Reach level 50 with my main character in World of Warcraft.
  • Finish reading The Ten-Cent Plague.
  • Finish working on my scale model.
Last month's "To-Do list:
  • Write at least one music review.
  • Learn how to play at least one song.
  • Reach level 40 with my main character in World of Warcraft.
  • Reach level 20 with my support characters in World of Warcraft.
  • Lower my brain age to 30 (my current brain age is 50).
  • Start working on my scale model.
  • Start reading a book.
  • Continue practicing alternate picking/string skipping until I can cleanly play at 150 bps.
Haven't done anything much last month. But I did started reading again and painted my scale model. Re-rolled a character on World of Warcraft and wasn't able to reach level 40. Scrapped my support characters as well because of limted play time.